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“Last Saturday, six young black males were present when a 79 year old grandfather was shot at the Lakeland Farmer’s Market.  We have made progress in the investigation and we have identified some suspects.  We will pay $5,000 for further information leading to the arrest of the actual shooters.  For anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest of the shooters, Crime Stoppers will pay you $5,000 in green cash for Christmas - that’s a promise!” –Sheriff Grady Judd.

Sheriff Grady Judd announced today that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Heartland Crime Stoppers have authorized a reward increase to $5,000 for information leading to the shooters involved in the armed robbery of a 79-year-old man working at the Lakeland Farmers Market, located at 2701 Swindell Road in Lakeland.  The shooting occurred around 7:45 a.m. Saturday morning, November 24, 2012 (last Saturday).

An automated telephone message has been sent today to areas in north Lakeland about the increased reward money.  Citizens are encouraged to come forward who may have any information that will assist detectives in the investigation.

Here is a brief summary of the shooting:  Sometime around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, 2012, two unknown black males approached the victim’s coin and gun booth at the Lakeland Farmers Market located at 2701 Swindell Road in Lakeland, and told the victim they wanted to buy a gun. The victim told the suspects no. The suspects told victim they would be back.


At around 7:45 a.m., six unknown young black males approached the victim’s booth. One of the suspects, who was armed with a hammer, smashed the glass case that the handguns are kept in. Another suspect, who was armed with a handgun, shot the victim in the stomach. The suspects then fled to a field located on the NW corner of the Farmers Market towards Enterprise Street. The suspects were all wearing dark clothing.  Some of them appeared to be young, possibly teenagers, and some of them had dreadlocks as a hairstyle. 


The 79-year-old victim is still being treated in the hospital; he is in stable condition.


Anyone with information who wants to REMAIN ANONYMOUS and be eligible for a CASH REWARD is asked to call HEARTLAND CRIME STOPPERS AT 1-800-226-TIPS or log onto to submit your tip via the web. For a secure and password protected mobile app for your smart device, go to the app store and download the free “P3tips” mobile app. No caller ID, no recorded lines, no tracking cookies, no saved IP addresses. Anonymity is Guaranteed!!

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna
                                                Date: 11/30/2012